Spring Training For Godliness, 1

baseball-28As the Major Leagues begin Spring Training, they all have their hopes and dreams set on winning the World Series. That privilege belongs only to one team in the end, but all of them will do their best to win. While it does take skill, nothing takes the place of training and getting ready.

The same is true for our own godly character. How many people think that that they will become more like God just by going to church once a week? Just listening to Christian music and being a nice person is not the kind of training that Paul had in mind for young preacher Timothy in 1 Timothy 4:7-16.

Over the next few posts I want to encourage us to continue to aspire to be Godly people – but also to recognize this does not happen on it’s own. There are no natural Christians! We are involve din an unnatural / supernatural way of life that is only accomplished by God’s power and strength as we yield to His will!

People who write about spring training not being necessary have never tried to throw a baseball. ~Sandy Koufax

The first step in training for godliness is to exercise discernment!

Stay clear of silly stories that get dressed up as religion. Exercise daily in God—no spiritual flabbiness, please! – 1 Timothy 4:7, The Message

Only by spiritually exercising discernment can Godly people know the difference between truth and tales! What Discernment Does:

*Discernment gives us insight into decisions we need to make.

*Discernment gives us insight into the messages we see/hear.

*Discernment gives us perspective when dealing with other people.

*Discernment gives us warning when we are stepping in the wrong direction.

The writer of Hebrews says it this way:

Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil. – Hebrews 5:13-14, NIV

Constant use of the Word of God will offer the ability to practice discernment. You have to exercise it, train for it.

Yogi Beara once instructed his players to “Pair off in threes”! Listening to our culture and surroundings … even our own beliefs … will sometimes send us a confusing message like that. We need discernment today more than ever!

But there’s more to training for godliness. More in the next post.

Here are some great selections for your Kindle!

$4.99 Growing in Godliness: 40 Encouraging Devotions by Sheryl Maxey

$3.99 Discipline Yourself for Godliness by Dr. John Samuel Barnett

$7.99 The Practice of Godliness: Godliness Has Value for All Things by Jerry Bridges

$13.99 Mickey and Willie: Mantle and Mays, The Parallel Lives of Baseball’s Golden Age by Allen Barra

$8.99 Sandy Koufax: A Lefty’s Legacy (P.S.) by Jane Leavy

$7.99 Beyond Belief: Finding the Strength to Come Back by Josh Hamilton

$11.04 Long Shot by Mike Piazza

$5.46 Moneyball by Michael Lewis

 

Thanks for reading!

John

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